Tanya Morgan (& 6th Sense)- Rubber Souls

“They say I rock like it’s 94’/ but I don’t know if that’s some kind of flaw” Von Pea opens up the album with a line dealing with the perception TM has been facing since the entered the game. The ‘vintage/ golden era’ Hip Hop sound has become Tanya Morgan’s trademark, but ironically this line open’s up their most experimental album yet, perhaps it followed a ‘golden era’ J Dilla line on purpose? Tanya Morgan has also been known for deeply conceptual albums and lines, and like most groups with their third album they completely scrap the original blue print and start over, enter 6th Sense. Production wise this album is top notch, producer 6th Sense brings in live instrumentation for a whole new sound, something far from boom-bap but yet still influenced by that vintage sound. Another notable change is the almost pop-like influence on the choruses, they successfully walk the fine line of ‘true’ Hip Hop and commercialization, songs like “The Only One’ can easily fit as a Winter Olympics or NBA playoffs theme. This is easily their most accessible album, you don’t have to be extremely knowledge in Hip Hop music to get and appreciate this album. Lyrically and content-wise TM deliver much needed reality and substance songs like the previously mentioned “The Only One” and “Never Too Much” deal with the everyday inner struggle everyday people face with struggle, ambition and materialism. Though TM are spitting to a new sonic landscape they still make plenty of references to their Hip Hop forefathers, from the ATCQ references in “All Em” to the much more subtle Big Daddy Kane inspired keyboard solo towards the end of “Pick It Up”. They also slip multiple hidden tracks on this album; the CD version Vinyl and Itunes version all have different bonus tracks that finish off the album. It will be interesting to see where TM will go with their next release, but perhaps opening the album up with an homage to Slum Village is a hint that they will never stray too far from their roots.

Rating 7.7/10

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